Papier mache involves creating crafts using newspaper and a glue or paste that drys very hard. Papier mache can be used to make pinatas, masks and other types of figures. Creating a model of the planet Mars is very simple and requires only a balloon and papier mache materials. Kids will enjoy making a papier mache Mars because the project is messy and very hands on; parents will enjoy teaching kids about the fourth planet from the sun.
Blow up a balloon to create the shape of a planet. The size of the balloon can be controlled to make Mars as large or as small as desired. Tie off the balloon once you find a comfortable size.
Tape down the nozzle of the balloon to the balloon. This will help keep the balloon in the correct round shape.
Rip of strips of newspaper to workable sizes. The strips should be large enough to cover the balloon and small enough that it will not wrinkle as it is placed on the balloon. Complete this step prior to making or using papier mache glue to keep the mess to a minimum.
Make papier mache glue. Hobby shops and teacher supply stores sell powder that mixes with water to make a clear, slimy paste that is for papier mache. Papier mache pastes can also be made by combining flour and water to create a paste that will dry hard. Start by putting a few spoonfuls of flour in a bowl and then slowly add water until the mixture becomes a thin paste.
Dip the stripes of newspaper into the glue and begin covering the balloon with the papier mache. For this type of project add two or three layers of papier mache. Allow to dry.
Add paint or add a layer of coloured tissue paper to the balloon. Mars is called the "Red Planet" because of its rust colour. If using tissue paper, break the tissue paper into strips and apply to the planet as the newspaper was added.
Paint on details of the planet. Mars has ancient volcanoes, such as Olympus Mons, on its surface. If the balloon nozzle is visible, it can be painted as a volcano. The polar caps of Mars are covered by ice and should be painted white. Other surface features include canyon features and water erosion which create visible channels on the planet's surface. Find a picture of Mars to help you know where to paint each of its feature.
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